You’ve got stacks of comic books, folders full of Pokemon cards, a closet full of shoes that don’t fit and even a few boxes of jewelry leftover from your great aunt’s attic. Yes, you could list each item via Craigslist or eBay and wait until they sell or, like a growing number of collectors, flippers and burgeoning small businesses, you could “go live” and sell them from your home.
There’s no question that sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are still the most popular for one-off sales, but as more Americans pick up second jobs to stay afloat, American arbitrage is picking up steam, powered by these new live-streaming shopping platforms.
According to ThredUp, the secondhand market is projected to double in the next 5 years, reaching $77B. Additionally, many folks have lived through some sort of work disruption and seen extensive time at home, so even more folks today are looking for creative ways to add an income stream. Let’s run down 11 of the best apps that allow you to sell your stuff online.
If you’ve got a huge following, whether it be for your fashion tastes, gaming skills or collection of rare cards, there’s a chance your followers might actually want to shop along with you. Launched a few years back, BuyWith makes that virtual experience possible. Shopping events are hosted on BuyWith and don’t require a third-party app download. During live shopping sessions, viewers can interact with the host and buy items that become available in real time. The only drawback here is that you have to be an influencer or celebrity to sell.
Built to stimulate the ever-present FOMO of today’s market, StockX is all about the newest, coolest and rarest items. On their homepage, you’re bombarded with specialty Yeezy’s, hard-to-find Nike dunks and even sold out Lego sets. Last year, the company expanded from hypebeast attire to offering graded comic books and more collectibles. If you’ve got an ultra-rare Supreme hoodie, Louis Vuitton Cyclone sunglasses or a BAPE/OVO varsity jacket, this might be the place to list it. Seller fees range from 8-10 percent depending on your seller level and Stockx also has a minimum fee for transactions that runs around $7 – $9.
Newer than the others, NTWRK is still working to find footing as a place where people want to shop and sell. There’s an application process to sell on the platform and currently most of the stock on the site is contained in the collectibles section with listings of sports cards, Pokemon, figurines, and random collectibles numbering in the thousands. At times, NTWRK has a StockX feel without enough content to back it up. Famous brands and celebrities have used the app to drop exclusive merch but they have also tended to be investors.
It’s been a big year for Vestiaire, a reselling app with a focus on second hand luxury clothing, jewelry, handbags and accessories. About a year ago, the French company hit a valuation of $1.7 billion with a major investment by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Just this week, the company moved into new digs in Brooklyn. While Vestiaire feels posh — the app branding feels very Veuve Clicqout and inside black and white simplicity reign — it’s incredibly easy and simple to use. If you’re looking to sell those Fendi high heels or a super clean pair of Gucci boots, this is the place to be. Selling fees are 12% across the board and don’t include a 3% payment processing fee.
Built around the culture of box rips, comic book grail hunting and graded video games, WhatNot launched last year and began recruiting sellers to its platform. There’s an application process to join, but the site is “free”, taking a small portion from sales made on the app. While it’s important to build up your following on any sales app, WhatNot has it’s daily lives sectioned off into categories, so new users can jump right in based on their interests. This also makes it easier for sellers to get eyes on their products with little promotion. The app has found a solid user base amongst comic book sellers in particular, who have shifted from selling on other platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Seller fees top out at 8% and the platform also charges a 2.9% fee plus 30 cents to cover payment processing.
Free and fairly easy to use, Instagram’s live feature has set off an infinite number of copycats including on its parent company, Facebook. When the live chat feature launched a couple of years back, live sessions were limited to an hour or so, but now that restriction has been lifted. IG has also added multiple tools and widgets for small businesses in the last year. This option is perfect if you have a large following already or can leverage your audience from another platform. There are restrictions around playing copyrighted music and film while going live, so look into those rules to avoid your feed from being yanked, otherwise, it’s free reign. If you follow the right folks, you can also tap into communities (and buyers) hocking everything from Pokemon cards to comic books.
A mix of thrifty finds, beauty and skincare products, toys, patches and everything in between, Popshop Live is more of a catch-all, Craiglist meets QVC kind of site. When you log in, watchers can sort through events like Thrifty Thursdays or the Hogsmeade Mart that highlight specialized sellers. Personality is a big part of this site, which can make it seem a little more daunting if you’re just looking to sell casually. According to TechCrunch, PopShop hasn’t divulged how many sellers it currently hosts but reported “gross merchandise value of $500,000 and more, with 80% of customers returning within 30 days.” Popshop, aside from free options like Instagram, may be the most affordable with the platform taking 6% of sales as well as a 3% processing fee.
By simply existing inside of Facebook, the live feature is an easy way to reach a lot of people with very little effort to get it going. First, you have to set up a shop inside Facebook and then you can select any number of items to feature in your live. Run through as many as you feel like or just list them as “buy it now.” Facebook is also free, which is always a plus, and sellers can use either their phone or desktop to launch a live sale. If you’ve already got a small business, selling from your Facebook page can help with reach and build up your brand.
Amazon, like Facebook, is enormous, so the idea here is the same. Very little work to set up your own shop and with Amazon’s built-in tools, it’s very easy to add new products and automate your sales channel. There’s no cost to creating a live sale via Amazon and thanks to the site’s massive size, adding stock and navigating is simple as well.
That said, Amazon has built up the service around the idea of influencers talking about their favorite products, hosting unboxings and doing live reviews, all while products roll across the screen. If you’re looking for something akin to QVC this is it.
The oldest of the free live streaming sites, YouTube has yet to roll out an official shopping and sales department to assist re-sellers but it is said to be on the horizon. In the meantime, YouTube creators have been utilizing the ability to stream live to host auctions and live sales for years. Albeit a bit clunky at times, YouTube is a good, low-risk place to start. Also, it’s free! The biggest downside to jumping into live stream selling here is finding and building an audience. With so many people using the platform, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of content.
With the massive popularity of live streaming shopping in Asia, it makes sense that Tik Tok would want to pivot to shopping on its social channel with 79 million American users. Last year, Tik Tok announced a partnership with Shopify to offer users more tools to sell their wares. A user can tap on the product popup to add it to their cart and begin a mobile checkout experience from within TikTok. With the app’s already stratospheric popularity, starting a shop on TikTok could be incredibly lucrative if you’ve got the goods.